Saturday, June 10, 2017

one of these things is not like the other

Our pal St Basil talks to us about not being like everyone else today in A Year with the Church Fathers. He uses the example of an octopus, which blends into its environment to lure its prey closer. Then he basically talks about politicians, and how they change what they "stand for" based on the crowd they're talking to. He says that we Christians should not be like that.

There is a chameleon in the picture above. It might be hard to make out. It's on the branch, and you can see its leg and its head pretty clearly when you know what to look for. It's a cool effect, and it works well for the chameleon. It enables it to hide from predators and to sneak up on its food before it can get away.

But we aren't supposed to be like octopi, chameleons, or politicians. We are supposed to be different. Set apart. Holy. And we're supposed to be "salt and light" in our world. Sometimes that means standing out in an uncomfortable way. It might mean occasionally making OTHER people uncomfortable. And if comfort was the most important thing in life, then being different would be a bad choice.

It's not, of course. When it's time to share our faith, we have to do it boldly and in love. And just a word about "sharing our faith". We've used that expression for so long that it's come to mean "telling people about Jesus." And that's important, of course. But I think it would be good if we took that expression a little more literally. We don't just need to tell people facts about Jesus. We need to SHARE our FAITH. God has helped each of us to have faith in Him. We can share that faith with other people... letting them borrow our faith until theirs is grown into an adult sized faith that they can rely on. That means assuring them that the path they're starting on is a good one. It means reminding them of the things they can forget when life gets hard. It can mean telling them over and over about the spark of faith in our own souls that makes getting out of bed in the morning worthwhile.

So let's heed Jesus's call and be different. Let's literally share our faith. Let's parcel it out to each person we meet. Don't worry... He'll always give us more.

Thank You, God, for calling us to be different. Please fill us full of faith so we can share it with the world.